Home / Articles / Billions of Dollars for Egypt, Vindication for Sisi
The stunning success of Egypt’s three-day economic conference in Sharm al-Sheikh could not have come at a better time, for the weeks prior had been difficult for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
At an international level there is a disjunction, what he described this month as “miscommunication” between Cairo and Washington. Egypt’s struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is not the latest chapter in some game book for a theoretical “war on terror” that is subject to whims and political necessities like shifting winds blowing across Washington.
It took the public beheading of a U.S. journalist to shake the Americans into action against the ongoing murderous rampage in Iraq, and the scandalous collapse of the corrupt and sectarian Iraqi army before Washington abandoned Nuri al-Malaki, who was responsible as defense minister and prime minster for corruption and sectarianism.
What will it take in Libya? The beheading of 21 Egyptians is obviously not enough, even though ISIS made clear that it killed them specifically because they were Christian, and that this was an opening salvo across the Mediterranean, “against Rome” as a metaphor for Christianity – a salvo aimed at the West.
For Egypt, ISIS affiliates maneuver along its borders from sanctuaries in Gaza and Libya. In portions of Sinai adjacent to Gaza, a jihadist insurgency has been simmering for several years, but only going beyond sporadic attacks to full-fledged assaults against the army and police from the moment the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Mursi was deposed from the presidency by popular will and military intervention.
To the north, assaults by ISIS affiliates crossing the border to hit isolated Egyptian units have been…